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Play explores experiences of sexual minority asylum seekers

February 27, 2012

“Tara’s Crossing,” a play by Emmy-nominated writer Jeffrey Solomon, will be presented in a free performance Saturday, March 3 at 7:00 p.m. at Arizona State University’s West campus, 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix. The performance will be held in Second Stage West, lower level of the University Center Building. It is recommended for mature audiences.

The play tells the story of a transgender woman who flees Guyana for asylum in the United States, only to end up in a government detention center, facing an uphill battle to prove her claims of persecution. The play is one of the first to deal with the subject of political asylum for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender refugees, a remedy that has been available in the United States only since 1994. “Tara’s Crossing” was inspired by dozens of interviews with sexual minority asylum seekers from around the world conducted in New York, Washington and San Francisco.

The performance will be followed by a post-show panel and discussion with the creative team.

“Tara’s Crossing” is a production of Houses on the Moon, Inc., a New York-based theater company with a mission to tell untold stories, whose works appear Off-Broadway and internationally.

The Off-Broadway run of “Tara’s Crossing” at the Tenement Theatre in Manhattan was called revealing and tender” by the Village Voice, “powerful and impressive” by OUTfm and “remarkable, moving and captivating” by The play has been widely presented by law schools as a training tool regarding the complex legal and emotional issues faced by sexual minority refugees.

Playwright Jeffrey Solomon’s “De Novo” appeared Off Broadway at 59E59 Theaters and has been widely presented at law schools around the country as a training tool on issues specific to undocumented youth. He is the writer and performer of “Mother/Son” and “Santa Claus is Coming Out.” Solomon wrote the Emmy-nominated pilot for Jim Henson’s “CityKids,” which also won an Ollie award for outstanding children’s programming.

The performance of “Tara’s Crossing” at ASU’s West campus features actors Aundre Chin, Ian Eaton, Nysheva-Starr, Jeffrey Solomon and Emily Weiner.

The March 3 presentation of “Tara’s Crossing” is co-sponsored by several organizations and programs at the West campus, including the Border Justice events series, the M.A. in Social Justice and Human Rights, the Division of Humanities, Arts & Cultural Studies, and New College Graduate Programs.

For more information, contact C. Alejandra Elenes, a faculty member in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at (602) 543-3315.